Software PWM library for Arduino
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davorvr and Palatis Omit printInterruptLoad if no hardware UART (#13)
* Omit printInterruptLoad if no hardware UART

Add check whether hardware UART exists before declaring printInterruptLoad() - this makes the library compile on cores which don't have a Serial object defined, at the expense of the printInterruptLoad()

* Fix messed up indents
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README.md

arduino-softpwm

Software PWM library for Arduino, and other compatible AVR boards.

AVR microcontrollers provide hardware PWM on some pins but if you need PWM on other pins then it must be implemented in software. This library provides easy and efficient software PWM on any pin. Each channel can be set to a different PWM duty cycle.

This library is licensed under BSD3

Installation

  • Download the most recent version here: https://github.com/Palatis/arduino-softpwm/archive/master.zip
  • Using Arduino IDE 1.0.x:
    • Sketch > Import Library... > Add Library... > select the downloaded file > Open
  • Using Arduino IDE 1.5+:
    • Sketch > Include Library > Add ZIP Library... > select the downloaded file > Open

Usage

See File > Examples > arduino-softpwm > SoftPWM_example for demonstration of library usage.

Everything in this library except for preprocessor defines are wrapped in namespace Palatis {}, so if your compiler blames you about symbol not found, try add Palatis:: before that thing. For example, Palatis::SoftPWM.size().

Alternatively, you can add using namespace Palatis; at the top of the source file to import everything under the Palatis namespace, this might be convenient if you're using my other libraries.

#define SOFTPWM_OUTPUT_DELAY - Add this line above #include <SoftPWM.h> for a 1 PWM clock cycle delay between outputs to prevent large in-rush currents.

SOFTPWM_DEFINE_CHANNEL(CHANNEL, PMODE, PORT, BIT) - Configure a pin for software PWM use. Consult the datasheet for your microcontroller for the appropriate PORT and BIT values for the physical pin. This information is shown in the pinout diagram, for example: ATmega328P datasheet Figure 1-1 found on page 3. If you want to determine the Arduino pin assigned to the physical pin http://www.pighixxx.com/test/pinoutspg/boards/ provides this information for the most popular Arduino boards or you can look at the pins_arduino.h file in the variant folder used by your board.

  • Parameter: CHANNEL - The channel number is used as an ID for the pin.
  • Parameter: PMODE - DDRx register of the pin's port. Append the port letter to DDR. For example: The Arduino UNO diagram shows that Arduino pin 13 is PB5 which means that the port is B so you should use the value DDRB for that pin.
  • Parameter: PORT - The port of the pin. For example: Arduino pin 13 is PB5 so you should use the value PORTB for that pin.
  • Parameter: BIT - The bit of the pin. For example: Arduino pin 13 is PB5 so you should use the value PORTB5 for that pin.

SOFTPWM_DEFINE_CHANNEL_INVERT( CHANNEL, PMODE, PORT, BIT ) - Depending on your application you may prefer to invert the output. See SOFTPWM_DEFINE_CHANNEL() for description of parameters.

SOFTPWM_DEFINE_OBJECT(CHANNEL_CNT) - Define the softPWM object with the default 256 PWM levels.

  • Parameter: CHANNEL_CNT - The number of channels that are defined.

SOFTPWM_DEFINE_OBJECT_WITH_PWM_LEVELS(CHANNEL_CNT, PWM_LEVELS) - Define the softPWM object with the specified number of PWM levels.

  • Parameter: CHANNEL_CNT - The number of channels that are defined.
  • Parameter: PWM_LEVELS - The number of PWM levels. Using less PWM levels may allow a higher PWM frequency. The maximum value is 256.

SOFTPWM_DEFINE_EXTERN_OBJECT(CHANNEL_CNT) - Add this if you want to use the SoftPWM object outside where it's defined. See SOFTPWM_DEFINE_OBJECT() for description of the parameter.

SOFTPWM_DEFINE_EXTERN_OBJECT_WITH_PWM_LEVELS(CHANNEL_CNT, PWM_LEVELS) - Add this if you want to use the SoftPWM object outside where it's defined. See SOFTPWM_DEFINE_OBJECT_WITH_PWM_LEVELS() for description of parameters.

SoftPWM.begin(hertz) - Initialize SoftPWM.

  • Parameter: hertz - The PWM frequency. Setting the value too high will cause incorrect operation, too low will cause a visible flicker.
    • Type: long

SoftPWM.printInterruptLoad() - Prints diagnostic information to the serial monitor. This can be used to find the optimal PWM frequency by setting different PWM frequency values in begin() and then checking the resulting interrupt load. Calling this function will momentarily turn off the PWM on all channels.

SoftPWM.set(channel_idx, value) - Set the PWM level of the given channel.

  • Parameter: channel_idx - The channel to set.
    • Type: int
  • Parameter: value - The PWM level to set.
    • Type: byte

SoftPWM.size()

  • Returns: Number of channels defined.
    • Type: size_t

SoftPWM.PWMlevels()

  • Returns: The number of PWM levels.
    • Type: unsigned int

SoftPWM.allOff() - Set the PWM value of all channels to 0.

Troubleshooting

  • LEDs have a visible flicker, especially noticeable when the LED is moving relative to the viewer.
    • The PWM frequency set in SoftPWM.begin() is too low. Use SoftPWM.printInterruptLoad() to determine the optimum PWM frequency. You may be able to achieve a higher PWM frequency by setting less PWM levels with SOFTPWM_DEFINE_OBJECT_WITH_PWM_LEVELS() or SOFTPWM_DEFINE_EXTERN_OBJECT_WITH_PWM_LEVELS().
  • Erratic PWM operation
    • The interrupt load is too high. Use SoftPWM.printInterruptLoad() to determine the interrupt load. You can decrease the interrupt load by setting less PWM levels with SOFTPWM_DEFINE_OBJECT_WITH_PWM_LEVELS() or SOFTPWM_DEFINE_EXTERN_OBJECT_WITH_PWM_LEVELS() or setting the PWM frequency lower in SoftPWM.begin().
  • LED brightness changes between low brightness PWM values are larger than at brighter PWM values.
    • This is caused by the way LEDs work and is not caused by a problem with the library. If possible, use more PWM levels or never allow the LED to get dimmer than the level below which the difference between PWM levels is too distinct.